I’m sure my co-worker would be able to share every cultural tradition that takes place in preparation for a new baby. I don’t know if this follows one of those traditions, but I’m so happy to have this memory and I wanted to share the idea with you all to share with your friends and relatives.
I did not want the typical baby shower. I did not want people to melt candy bars in diapers and I wanted all of my friends and family, boys included. I wanted calm, relaxing moments where both Colin and I could celebrate. My mother-in-law perfectly captured this celebration by having our guests build me a necklace. Each bead represented a childhood memory, a wish, or advice for the newest O’Brien. As I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of a friends bundle of joy, I was reminded of Graham’s baby shower. A humbling moment that will always remind me my blessings stretch further than I know.
Each guest was asked to pick a bead out of a large container of beads upon their arrival. They were directed to select a bead that represented a thought or story that reminded them of our connection. Each bead became a blessing from friends and family to hang around my neck and bring baby and I joy and good fortune. You meet many people in your life that contribute to the person you are today. My family and friends and even some enemies have contributed. Some have shown me the best of human kind and others have taught me what not to do. I have received advice and wisdom and many lessons that I continue to carry with me and pass down to my boys.
Once everyone had their bead we went around the room and each guest shared why they selected their bead. I laughed and cried as memories were shared and wishes were made. Each I remember well and will cherish forever. It is these individuals that contribute to the person I am, that I am becoming. The person I strive to be as a Christian, wife, mother, daughter . . .
My oldest son was proud to gather these beads from our friends and family and even picked a couple of his own out of the large container. After the shower, my mother-in-law took the beads and had a beautiful necklace made for me. Each bead weighs heavy around my neck serving as a reminder of the network of love and friendship I have been blessed to build. My village. The weight of the necklace also makes it very uncomfortable, so it is displayed on my dresser. I pass by it every day and think of those wishes. As my boys grow, so does my love for them, and so does the love of that village. I’m grateful.
I love my necklace and love this idea. If you know of someone expecting or find yourself responsible for throwing a baby shower, throw out the melted candies and find yourself some beads. The memories that created the necklace are a wonderful tradition I hope others will enjoy as much as I did.
A special congratulations to my friends who are first time mommies. As you embark on this new journey of motherhood, know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Know you are the best momma for your child and that your journey will be unique to you. Know that it will go too fast and you won’t always know what to do, but making it up as they grow is okay.